Embracing the season
For the past seven months, life has been different. It’s had a quicker pace, family members going in different directions every day, and most days I feel overwhelmed and disconnected. People warned me, years ago when the kids were little, to enjoy the time because it gets crazier as they age. I honestly didn’t believe them. I thought, “they can’t feed, bathe, toilet, or clothe themselves right now, how can it be even busier once they are older and more independent?” But they were right.
When the kids were younger, we were busy WITH them. Now, I feel like we are busy FOR them. Driving to practices, games, and social events. Helping with homework and school projects. Making sure the laundry and chores are done on the weekend so we can turn around and do it all again the next week. And yeah, in our down time, make sure they aren’t spending too much time with screens and monitoring their tech/online use. It’s nonstop. There are days I get to the end of the day and wonder, “Did I actually have a true conversation with any of my family members today? Did we ever really connect or was our communication one of ’to-dos’ and lists?” Most days, the answer is no, we didn’t connect. Sometimes that is due to the schedule and other times it's due to my needing a few minutes to myself, just one time before the day is over, so I steal an early bedtime.
The end of the school year is always busy, so I know this and prepare for it, and know it will settle into a different groove come summer. Summer is not slow by any means (it never is when you’re a household with two working parents) but it does have a freedom that the school year doesn’t possess. It’s busy in a different way, and when the school year starts I look forward to the routine and consistency. This is normally when the pace settles back into a slower groove...one that’s familiar and has a comfort to it.
But that hasn’t happened this year. This year we have our oldest in high school and that has been a transition that has taken me by surprise. Yes, I knew it would be different, but I underestimated the change. Life sped up. To warp speed. The last two months I’ve felt like I can’t quite catch my breath and we are on a merry-go-round that’s never in sync. I have been thinking this entire time, “It's going to slow down soon and you’ll be back to normal.”
Then this week, during one of my early morning runs, it hit me...this IS the new normal. This pace is your new pace. The season changed a few months ago and you just haven’t realized it (or come to terms with it). This was a hard realization to wrap my brain around because I honestly yearn for the simplicity of those earlier years. I miss the time with my family. I also see how blazing my fast the next few years will go...and then we will have 3 fewer people under our roof, and the pace will shift from break-neck to relaxed again.
Maybe, when that time comes, I’ll look back and yearn for these hectic years. I’ll bet that will be the case.
So I've started trying to embrace this season. Even though there’s so much I miss from younger, slower years, I know this busy season has amazing things happening. If I am too preoccupied hoping for life to ”go back” to what I knew for so long, I’ll miss the beauty and magic of what is...even if it’s flying by. So this means that I've become that friend that doesn't return calls or texts in a timely fashion. And most days I forget and don't return them at all. As a Type A personality, leaving things undone or unanswered bothers me, but I'm trying to learn to let go and put my energy and focus where they should be: on my family and their needs, on my relationship with my husband, and on time for self-care and quiet (whenever that can actually happen, haha!).
Are any of you having a similar feeling or realization with a change in life recently? If so, what have you done to help embrace your new season? I‘m sure I’m not the only one that is going through a season like this, so let’s chat and see how we can help each other embrace the seasons we are in.